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Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0742536012
ISBN-10: 0742536017
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gulliver Unbound is an engrossing, critical, and provocative account of the factors that led the U.S. on the path of imperial adventurism particularly following 9/11, how this impacted U.S. relations with its NATO allies and with the rest of the world, and how it led to intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. In conclusion, this is a splendid little book. It reflects the author's deep insight, erudition, and concern for humanity and for a sane international system. It is highly recommended for courses in international relations, comparative politics, and Middle East politics. (International Journal on World Peace)

Americans who wish to halt the drift toward imperialism should read this book. (Robert O. Keohane, Duke University)

Stanley Hoffmann is America's wisest and most seasoned observer of transatlantic events. In Gulliver Unbound he delivers indispensable commentary on the hubris of America's imperial adventurism, the flaws in its approach to combating terrorism, and the future of the European-American relationship. (Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize and the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award)

Gulliver Unbound can be read in one sitting and contains a great deal of wisdom, not least of which is the observation, 'Iraq has become a trap for the Americans and a godsend for terrorists.' (Chalmers Johnson The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Throughout his distinguished career, Hoffmann has remained intellectually and personally bound to both America and France. In this engaging little book, he brings his accumulated wisdom and cosmopolitan sensibilities to bear on the current crisis in U.S.-European relations.... Full of insights―and worries. (G. John Ikenberry, Princeton University Foreign Affairs)

"A witheringly accurate critique of the hubris and folly of the Bush administration. Hoffmann is generally dead on target in his condemnation of the Bush administration, the conceptual idiocy of the 'war on terror,' and the wider chauvinism, ignorance, and Francophobia of the U.S. establishment and media. (Anatol Lieven American Prospect)

This little book, conceived and presented largely as a series of conversations between Hoffmann and a French former student, does not disappoint. Stanley Hoffmann's is a powerful and liberal voice in a post-September 11 American that has too often seemed bereft of such voices. (Political Science Quarterly)

About the Author

Stanley Hoffmann (1928–2015) was the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. His books include World Disorders (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Gulliver Unbound (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), and Chaos and Violence (Rowman & Littlefield 2006).

Frédéric Bozo is professor of contemporary history at the University of Nantes and research associate at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (December 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742536017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742536012
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,965,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In this brilliant book, Stanley Hoffmann wrote, "the road selected by the United States was that of a declaration of `war' against terrorism, the creation of the notion of `illegal combatants', and the assimilation of states suspected of sheltering terrorists to the terrorists themselves. This was playing into their hands." Instead of focusing on getting Al Qa'ida, this road widened the war unnecessarily in space and time.

About the occupation of Iraq, Hoffmann noted, "There are good reasons for calling for the end of the occupation. As in Palestine, the occupation is the main cause of the current troubles (which does not mean that they will end if we leave; but whatever we do to try to resolve the internal conflicts is likely to backfire). Continuing U.S. military control, direct or indirect, will feed anti-Americanism (as in post-1965 South Vietnam) and provide a training and breeding ground for terrorism, native and from other countries. American interests would be better served by a shift of U.S. resources toward ... the fight against al Qaeda and its allies around the world - who have become more diversified and decentralized and continue to receive manpower and support from schools and factions in officially pro-American states such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. ... It is time to refocus the struggle against terrorism, by giving priority to the fight against Islamic jihadists (the most dangerous for U.S. and Western interests), and by spending far more energy on a permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, along the lines almost agreed upon at Taba in 2001 and advocated by the Geneva informal alliance of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as by Jimmy Carter."

He urges us all, "In the case of the Middle East, an exit from Iraq, combined with a new effort by the U.S.
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Format: Hardcover
Stanley Hoffmann, a Professor at Harvard University and the author of many books on international affairs, has written a very insightful book on current US foreign policy. He looks at the Franco-American dispute, the question of US imperialism, 9/11, the preparations for the attack on Iraq, the war and the subsequent occupation, and the future of the international system.

He writes that after 9/11, "the road selected by the United States was that of a declaration of `war' against terrorism, the creation of the notion of `illegal combatants', and the assimilation of states suspected of sheltering terrorists to the terrorists themselves. This was playing into their hands."

He suggests, "It is time to refocus the struggle against terrorism, by giving priority to the fight against Islamic jihadists (the most dangerous for U.S. and Western interests), and by spending far more energy on a permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, along the lines almost agreed upon at Taba in 2001 and advocated by the Geneva informal alliance of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as by Jimmy Carter."

He notes, "Nothing wholly good can come out of a war that resulted from a mix of self-deception and deliberate deception, waged in a part of the world in which alien control has for a long time fostered turmoil and tragedy. The presence of terrorism is not an invitation to empire, but an incentive for finding policies that reduce its appeal, and for pursuing the terrorists in ways that do not help them multiply. In the case of the Middle East, an exit from Iraq, combined with a new effort by the U.S., the U.N.
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